Looking around society there is so much angst and things to be unhappy about. The political climate in America is not a funny joke, the church has lost it’s power; families are splitting at higher rates and the racism and hatred of one to another seems to be increasing at an all time high. Some may ask what is going on and others how to fix it; while still others get mad and angry. As such keeping your joy must be a priority. There are fail-proof ways to keep your joy that are rather simple.
It’s been said that joy simply put is Jesus Others You so by putting this in motion you will keep your joy from season to season without fail.
1. Forgive. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to genuinely do and not doing it only breeds all things that steal your joy. In Acts 3:19 we are told to ‘repent and seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come.’ (NIV) Within this the identifying factor is what takes place after repenting and forgiving. It’s the refreshing may come. By living in forgiveness not only will you continually be refreshed you will also be operating at a level it keeps the door shut to the ploys of the enemy. Bottom line if you want to keep your joy start forgiving.
2. Take Every Thought Captive. The moment you think on things you need not think on; is the moment that the enemy takes over. It’s something as simple as worry, doubt, dread, or even lustful thoughts that can ruin a moment, a day; a year or even your life. The Word gives us instructions for how to train our minds and in fact we are told to ‘renew our minds’ which is a clue that it obviously can be done. Proverbs 23:7 tells us ‘For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.’ It’s hard to have and keep your joy if you are thinking only on the things that steal it!
3. Tame your Tongue. This one is probably the most challenging; especially when social media is so readily available to share all your opinions that you ultimately may regret later. Psalm 34:13 tells us essentially how to speak in these simple words: “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit.” (NIV) If only our politicians could grasp this concept! The words you speak will bring either life to death to you and those around you so make sure you take the steps to keep your joy by speaking life.
4. Surround Yourself with the Right People. The people you surround yourself makes all the difference. If you want to get where God wants you to be; then most likely it will require a change. See; it’s hard to go and grow in the Lord when surrounded by people going nowhere. It’s said no more clear than this: “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” (Pro 13:20) If you want joy go with the company that has it and will do anything to keep it!
5. Say Bye to Bitterness. Bitterness is spiritual poison that rots the bones. No wonder why Hannah in the book of 1 Samuel didn’t get pregnant until after she dealt with her bitterness! Her bones were rotting! Bitterness breeds and will only leave you empty; and most likely alone. Let it go and be restored in joy. If you aren’t the bitter one but those around you are; then ask yourself why you accept less than what you are worth and get your joy!
6. Remove Distractions. Life is full of distractions. Sports, television, social media, politics; can all become distractions if you aren’t careful. If you truly look at every minute of your day where are they going. You only have 1440 of them to spend and if they are going to distractions most likely they are sucking your joy right with them. Don’t let the distractions become your priority as your relationship with Christ will suffer as a result. Remove the distractions and take authority of your time and life and you will be amazed to how much you can live.
7. No more Negativity. There is enough to be negative about in life and the moment you accept it; you will feel it. Negativity is known to breed into the mind and hence the emotions. Negative people speak and do negative things. Think about that; how many happy people purposely go do negative things and how many negative people find enjoyment in positive things? When you remove the negative you may be left with a gap so ask the Lord to fill you with joy; overflowing with abundance. Life is too short to follow and accept anything negative as it’s an open door for the enemy to wreck havoc in all the other areas of your life.
In the end; whether or not you have joy is based upon the choices you make. There will always be an opportunity to not be joyful; but only if you allow it. As you become aware of what and who in your life brings what then you will be in a better position to close or open those doors. It’s truly up to you though and it starts with a focus on Jesus Others You.
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As the Rio Olympics are underway; the commentators have already been known for their misogynistic thoughts yet again about the female athletes. It shouldn’t any surprise that women would be seen as less than because it’s the way of the world. Look around. Women are still objectified, put down, paid less and the list goes on so I wondered what it would be like if Jesus were an Olympics Commentator; not that He would be but still I wondered.
If Jesus were an Olympics commentator His comments would be more uplifting to the achievements of the women instead of putdowns. There would be no reference to a woman’s achievement as the responsibility of her husband. Sure one may argue that a woman is a reflection of her husband and that of course men are still superior to me as we’ve heard it all before. My best bet about Jesus is that He would surely see the sacrifice made and He would know her heart and see her as a person; and not just that she was able to break her own swimming record because of that man- that she did it because of The Man. Let’s face it: Katinka Hosszú broke the world record; her husband did not. Jesus would know that and respect that; it was Him after all who walked on water.
If Jesus were an Olympics commentator He would kindly remind people that coming against His people really would not be tolerated. Kicking His people off the bus and refusing to ride the same bus just isn’t cool so therefore; people be kind to one another and love your neighbor as yourself. After all; we are together the world in once place right? Now go do your best as your Father is watching!
If Jesus were an Olympics commentator He would share with the audience that it was a woman named Corey Cogdell-Unrein, and He would know her by her name and not her title of being a wife; who won bronze in women’s trap shooting. He may also ask those coming against her what phariseeacle church they represented and to whom they would be praying should she ever aim in their direction. Or perhaps He would console her as she cried quietly that in all her efforts she still was seen as less than because she is a woman.
If Jesus were an Olympics commentator He would celebrate the young ladies who regardless of what sport they compete in still have body image issues. He would use that time to encourage them to never give up hope, that regardless of put downs to keep moving; and that as He is for them no one can be against them. He would also remind those sitting next to Him that unless they are perfect with the perfect bodies, perfect aim; the tenacity to try; or come before Him with perfect hearts that mirrors are everywhere and that a look in one may be of benefit- and of course all would be said in love as a reminder of who they are and who He is.
And finally if Jesus were an Olympics commentator He would not be so biased to disregard the women. It was Jesus after all who went against the grain by even speaking to the woman at the well; who shared that the woman with the issue of blood was healed because of her faith. And as if we need any reminders women were with Jesus all the time; and it was women who found the empty tomb.
And so as it goes the enemy has done great destruction in creating gender laws, ideas; and perversion between men and women. Most don’t see it as they are too busy resenting men or women in all the name of fairness. That wasn’t and isn’t the way of Jesus at all. If it weren’t for Jesus I surely wouldn’t be here writing this nor would women anywhere be able to stand and testify. So instead of looking down on women why not look up to Jesus and follow Him instead.
Julie Blair is President of Julie Blair Ministries that helps people worldwide grow in Christ. To learn more about going deeper in Christ or to have Julie speak to your church or business visit www.julieblair.com
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Repentance is a funny thing people don’t like to hear or talk about; like taking trips to see the in-laws. The problem is that the problem doesn’t go away if you don’t address it. You can’t sweep something under the rug and think that there won’t eventually be a pile of stuff under the rug. So the question is what happens when you repent?
Your mind changes. When you recognize that God is the One who determines what sin is and isn’t and you make the choice to align your mind with God’s Word; then your life will change in the right direction. Everything begins in the mind and we can see as far back as Adam and Eve. They allowed their stinking thinking to cause the turmoil that we all are born into. Acts 3:19 gives us the clear directives and getting to the refreshing and it starts with ‘Repent’ and ‘seek forgiveness’ so that ‘times of refreshing’ may come. With no repentance there is no forgiveness or refreshing. Our country reflects right now absolutely no repentance of fear of God. A mind changed toward repentance can fix that.
Your heart changes. When you repent your heart will change and in ways that you can’t imagine. Your heart wasn’t created to carry the burden and sin and all the things not of God; it just wasn’t. Because your body cannot go where your mind hasn’t been; the heart change will come after the mind makes the choice. A softened heart is one that God can work with. Psalms 32 is a great example of when King David repented to the Lord for his affair with Bathsheba. If you read the scripture carefully you won’t find where King David repented to Bathsheba; but rather to the Lord and his heart was changed. When things aren’t right with the heart; nothing else is right.
Your life changes. And of course if you choose to not repent your life will change; just probably not in the way you would like. In the story of Hannah we see where she wanted a baby more than anything and it was once she let go of her bitterness that her life changed; God gave her a baby! Now; it would make sense with bitterness that she wasn’t able to get pregnant since bitterness causes brittle bones; yet her story is a great testimony of healing, restoration, blessings, miracles and generations born.
If you want to grow in Christ repent for the things you have done; and you probably know what those deep dark hidden things are. Don’t allow the shame, guilt, condemnation or remorse keep you backpeddling. Just go to Jesus and let it all out; repent, seek forgiveness and let those times of refreshing come. Do it while you still can as I am quite certain you won’t regret it.
Julie Blair is President of Julie Blair Ministries that helps people worldwide grow in Christ. To learn more about going deeper in Christ or to have Julie speak to your church or business visit www.julieblair.com
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It’s so funny how smart we all think we are. I remember the days thinking I was oh so intelligent until I got the revelation that in my ignorance I was just racing to gain more ignorance. Go figure! What’s amazing though is how we can experience the ways of His wisdom when we just out of our intellectual ways. To truly have a God experience will require laying down your intellect. Experiencing the ways of His wisdom come through seeking Him.
I was reading Kings 3 about the word Elisha spoke and how the kings listened to the word from the prophet. What a lesson- listen to the prophet when he speaks! But then I saw something that only God could do-and that even in my amount of intellect I could not begin to 1) do what God has done, 2) think high enough to do what God has done and still continues to do.
So the question is: are you limiting God by your intelligence? Has your intellect gotten in the way of God’s wisdom and what He can do in you, to you and through you? Get out of the way and let God be God- and then witness, experience and share it. The kings did and the water was red. They experienced miracles only delivered by God. Aren’t you ready for that too?
Psalm 37:30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just.
Forgiveness Tip #23
Forgiveness and unforgiveness alike are both lifestyles; it’s just one is of life.
Julie Blair is President of Julie Blair Ministries that helps people mature in Christ. To learn more about going deeper in Christ or to have Julie speak to your church or business visit www.julieblair.com
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For more about growing in Christ visit www.julieblair.com
Forgiveness is one of those things that many talk about; but don’t apply. It’s turned into one of those little motivational quotes images seen throughout social media. It’s just oh so sweet like apple pie but let’s get real. There is a real side to forgiveness and it’s time that we as a society stop placating it and get with the reality of what forgiveness is. There is a truthful side to forgiveness. The truthful side of forgiveness is what most don’t talk about and for a variety of reasons.
The truthful side of forgiveness is what must be examined otherwise what’s the point? What is the point of one more blog that just says ‘oh brother and sister forgive’? You already know that! It’s been preached for how many decades yet still believers tend to skip that part and then wonder whey they are broke, busted and distrusted or disgusted. It’s seriously time to stop with the sweet usery of God’s Word and start understanding the reality of the truth of it to the full along with the consequences of just disregarding it because you just don’t feel so good about doing that today. Oh yes is that not for today either? Forgiveness is and it’s time to we get it and start living as overcomers otherwise Christians worldwide will be more of a laughing stock than we already are.
So what is the real side of forgiveness?
1- Forgiveness is a command not an option. Our society has dumbed down God’s Word to where the ‘Dummies’ guide needs a guide because of what people have made of God’s Word. Forgiveness is not a joke; it’s not an option when you just feel like it; and it certainly isn’t something to take lightly. It’s crazy how many people hear the message and then return home to their bitter lane and life and wonder where God is. Yeah- God isn’t your problem- your pure rebellion and disobedience is. God’s Word gives you everything for abundant living and forgiveness is the command to get there; oh and yes along with the first which is love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. And love your neighbor as yourself. So let’s stop mocking His Word and start taking it serious shall we and then become obedient to forgive even when we don’t want to? https://julieblair.com/the-command-to-forgive/
2- Forgiveness isn’t about you- it’s about your obedience to God. Many people simply forgive so they fell better which sounds oh so holy and noble right? Oh yes ‘I wanted to lose weight so I forgave’. Sure. I get it. It is what happens when you forgive although that is a purely selfish motive in the big scheme of things. The scientists of today propagate all the health reasons to forgive but yet they miss the entire point which takes me back to #1. It’s a command. So therefore if you are only forgiving just because you want to feel better well then good for you. You just showed the Lord your motives and how do you think that makes Him feel? How would you feel? It isn’t about living under the law any more thank God! So when you go to the Lord to forgive it should be because you want to be right with Him more than you want to lose whatever weight you have gained through you active disobedience. Then you will be set free. And of course this makes sense because His Word tells us remain focused on Him and not ourselves.
3-Forgiveness is about Christ and His Kingdom- not yours. I know it’s hard to hear or read that it isn’t all about you but it’s the truth. Our society has turned life itself into a selfie and where is there room for God? When you honestly go before the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings to declare forgiveness and repent for unforgiveness you will walk away with a testimony for His Kingdom- not your own. You can’t even have forgiveness without Christ so let’s just get real about it. Without Jesus Christ in the midst of your forgiveness you are just working yourself to some form of self-glorification and don’t we already have enough of that in our society?
As you can see forgiveness isn’t a joke. It isn’t a game. Jesus didn’t die so you could go take a selfie of how great your little mind will tell you that you are. Oh no. He died for you and the life that comes through Him. There is no way to get to the Father but through Him and whether you accept that or not isn’t my issue but rather His Truth. So if you want the full life that comes with being a follower of Christ then it will require you to understand that it is because of His love for you that you are here. It is because of His selflessness that you are here. It is because of His blood that you are here. And so just mocking Him by disregarding His Word or just using it for your own glory is not going to anything but reveal what you are. And if you want it to be revealed what you are don’t you want it to be one who loves the Lord, who lives in forgiveness and one who is obedient above all regardless of cost?
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Forgiveness Tip #12
Your strength to forgive will come through your obedience to Christ.
Julie Blair is President of Julie Blair Ministries and host of ‘Living in Forgiveness’ television and radio programs that airs daily to over 3 Billion people on 5 continents. To learn more about forgiveness and the love of Christ or to speak to your church or business visit www.julieblair.com
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Forgiveness is limiting. It limits everything in your life; your mental state, your emotional state, your health, opportunities. It limits everything It’s time to unlimit God through forgiveness.
When you forgive you are releasing everything good in your life to enter; which makes sense because it’s God who withholds no good thing. It’s us that blocks him from releasing it through disobedience in unforgiveness. It is sin that is the deadbolt to bondage. And now it’s time for you to break through and remove all limitations that unforgiveness has had on you.
You see; we all are faced with the choice to forgive. People hurt us. Things in life happen and it’s what we do when those hurricanes of life storm through that will have all the impact on everything in your life. Even Peter knew that forgiveness was something that needed to occur otherwise we would not read in Matthew 18:21 ‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” And wasn’t it Peter who walked on water?
If you want to go higher and deeper with the Lord; forgive. Clear the path. Move the mountain. Stop limiting God by being unforgiving.
Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’
Forgiveness Tip #1
You actually can forgive. You just need to align your mind to believe it. ______________________________________________________
Watch Living in Forgiveness nightly at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork.
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Look around; times are changing. People are changing; the world is changing. No longer are the things that once were reality for today. Gone are the days of leaving your home or vehicle with the door unlocked. Gone are the days of most people carrying cash. Gone are the days of the votes of people counting for something. Gone are the days of people reading maps. And; gone are the days where more people went to church than left. In this day it is time to be prepared and know what your weapon of choice is. Sure you may have the Springfield .45 or the Kimber; or even that sweet AR 15 but so what? What good will it do you when you have no more ammunition? How then will you survive? You need something better, sturdier; stronger, more protective and resilient in any times. You need stronger, better, infinite in all ways. You simply need to be in relationship with Jesus Christ. And through Him; love for there is no other way.
You see; Jesus has been through it all and He came for you. For you! He came to set the captives free and the only way to be free is through Him. You may take your own path; but a good intelligent path is not the God path of wisdom. Your path may have some man-made created routes that will suffice for a time; but what about when time runs short? What then? Your relationship with Jesus will withstand the times of anything. Are you ready? Are you pursuing?
It isn’t about a ‘what if’ scenario any longer but rather a ‘how do I walk in love’ daily in Christ scenario because what if is pure extrapolation in the mind. The events are already occurring on a global scale. Russia invades, men boast; microchipping is increasing and yet the same call from Christ is still the same. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and soul; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:27) There is a reason why this is written. Plainly put- it is what will be your protection in any and all days; always.
As we examine where we are and where we are going; it is beyond time yet still time to love one another. We must. We must for ourselves, for our children and their children; and for the call of those who are called followers of Christ; or Believers; or Saints. It is through love in Christ that the entire world can and must be changed. It is time that each of us lay down our hate and pick up our Bibles. (and read them) It is time that we turn off the media’s focus and attention on segregation and separation and starting grow in love for that is where we all will see that none are any different. We all are the same; men, women; the same.
So it begs the question: what are you willing to do? What are you willing to fight for? A loaf of bread? A new i-phone? Or how about a changed heart in the name of Jesus that will move every mountain and break barriers that brings the experience of God to every person you encounter?
It begins with me and it begins with you. When the hearts of people are changed; everything else changes too. One need to look at Hitler and see the devastation of that change in heart or one can focus on Jesus and become more like Him and as a result; change the world one person at a time through love. And that will be the weapon that will last longer than any other weapon you could ever have in your artillery.
It’s interesting that the past is time gone by yet most people stay living there. It is evidenced by the lives they lead yet because most are living there no one sees it as abnormal. What is sad is that truly in our society was once was normal is no longer and the abnormal is normal; and that is not normal. Living in the past is not normal when the present and future are here and coming at a quicker rate! . The best news is that there is a way out!
You see; forgiveness in Christ frees you from your past and I thought I knew forgiveness. I ‘thought’ I forgave. I thought that just because I said the words that was it; you know like that blab it and grab it or spit it and get theology many ascribe to. But yet nothing changed and I knew it not. It wasn’t until I was faced with being required to forgive that things changed. Through the process of forgiving people I also had to forgive my past. That sounded like the strangest thing because the past is ‘time gone by’ yet it in grammatical terms is a ‘noun’ and it robbed me. My past was the enemy that came only to kill, steal and destroy. It did a number on my and what I did not know was that I was still allowing it to have its foothold on my current life. I was robbed of much in my childhood and when I learned what it meant to forgive the past it was like removing an ankle strap. Maybe you haven’t had my past although you have your own. It doesn’t matter if it’s regret over a career choice, situation with your parents where you don’t measure up; it doesn’t matter. It’s time to be free!
Forgiving the past is not easy. It is the letting go of what may be something painful to progress toward something wonderful; your future in Christ. You cannot have a full future in Christ living in unforgiveness of the past. You simply cannot. One will always win and the direction you look is the direction where you will live. And sure you can say you are looking forward; although if you are not aware that there are almost 40 symptoms of unforgiveness then you just may want to not be so quick to judge. I had to to learn that lesson to and it was hard; but pride comes before a fall. Don’t fall just inquire.
I encourage you to truly go before the Lord and inquire of Him. Ask Him if you need to forgive anyone or even your past. Don’t just take your own mind’s word for it as that is dumb; because remember it’s the same mind that gets you into trouble so thinking without the Lord that it will get you out is ridiculous. But go to Him. Let Him reveal to you and ask that He does so in a way that ‘you can understand’ so that you are free. You will be free to live the future ‘He’ has for you. You will be free from the traps of the past; and you will be free to be the real you that has been there all along. It will prove to be your biggest breakthrough without a doubt!
For more about forgiveness watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ M-F at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork. Stream live www.uanetwork.tv Listen to ‘Living in Forgiveness’ M-F 12pm CST in US dial 605-475-4426.
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The story of Hannah provides us much to reflect on. It is one where you can be like her in the beginning or the end- it’s your choice. But rest assured if you try in all your own strength you will fail. Why? Because God’s Word tells us that apart from Him we can do no good thing. (John 15:5) How hard it must have been for her to desire something so much and yet get it; that is until she surrendered. You may think that you are so smart investing in the stock market; and when it fully collapses what will you have? Anger toward God? Bitterness of the loss when in reality you just didn’t listen to God Almighty? Surrender to Him now. The reality is that you have nothing to lose and if you don’t; well you will lose and more than you know.
You see; you can’t have it both ways: serving yourself and God at the same time. You must choose. Hannah finally got the memo and guess what? It was ‘God’ who blessed her with a baby. No one else. No dead god or universe will bless you. It can’t. It doesn’t even know you! But the God who created you and knows every hair on your head can! It is always God and if you deny His ways then you will live with the consequences. It doesn’t matter if you are one individual or one nation turning your back on Him will prove to be disastrous- and one only need to look around and see the devastation surrounding us.
The good news is that there is still time! Who knows how long but rest assured if you do what Hannah did and repent and seek forgiveness; times of refreshing may come. Her bitterness left her ‘and then’ she became pregnant. Now- this would make sense right because bitterness rots the bones so in reality how would she be able to carry a baby to term with bitter bones? But if you choose to be independent and pride yourself for it you will fall. And why fall on your face when you can stand on God’s Word and live to tell about it?
It’s a wake up call for each of us to recognize that regardless of the amount of wisdom you think you have; you don’t. You did not create yourself and you really are not the best thing since sliced bread and when that sinks in and you understand that it isn’t about you but about Him your life will change. When I got over myself and all my accolades of man made ideas and trophies everything changed. Remember that on judgment day there simply won’t be a trophy or stupid ribbon given to you just because you were born. God is a just God and if you don’t choose to show up you won’t reap the rewards. Choose Him now.
If you want the turnaround in your life it requires obedience to God’s Word. Period. If you want a solution to the problems in the wonderful USA it will require repentance and forgiveness. Period. You cannot add sin to the pure Word of God and think that you will get God’s best. This cannot happen, is not happening and will not happen-ever. God is worth more than the sin people want to live in. Those that are attempting to do so are simply revealing which side they are on and it’s very clear is it not that of God.
It’s time to humble ourselves before the Almighty and do so before it is too late. Acts 3:19 is very clear ‘Repent, and seek forgiveness, so that times of refreshing may come.’ No times of refreshing come ‘before’ humbling. They can’t. God does not and will not bow down to the sin that you want to live in and why should He? He created you remember?
And so in these times the rewards that come through seeking forgiveness are vast. I am here and that’s how I know what is on the other side of forgiveness. But if you wish to deny the fullness of forgive that by the way; can ‘only’ come through Jesus you will live in less than what He initially planned for you. You see; forgiveness is between you and God and when you go to everyone else but Him you miss the entire point. It is not your neighbor or the pope that has any authority to wash your sins away. None. So it’s time now to get that your life to come is based upon your willingness to align yourself with God’s Word. My prayer for you in the name of Jesus is that you would want Him more than you want to keep the sin that is killing you. And rest assured He is the only one who can save you. No other dead god or government entity can. Best to just overcome your flesh and do so now while you still can. You have nothing to lose and a life to gain!
For more about forgiveness and the power of walking in it watch ‘Living in Forgiveness’ Monday-Friday at 9:30pm CST on the UANetwork. Check your local listing. Stream live at www.uanetwork.tv